Production of the first Fed model ceased in 1955 and the camera was succeeded by the Fed 2. The Fed 2 (ФЭД) is a 35mm rangefinder. Production ran from 1955 to 1970, during which time 1,632,600 cameras were produced. Fed 2 has been produced for quite
a long time. The Fed 2 was offered in a lot of versions with different features.
There are older versions with shutter speeds of 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500 and B. While from 1959 the standardized shutter speeds were used: 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 , 1/125,
1/250, 1/500 and B. On the Fed 1 and Fed 2, the shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1 second were still missing.
Early Fed 2 versions were equipped with a folding Industar-10 50 mm F/3.5 made by Fed itself. Outwardly it looked like a Leitz Elmar copy but
optically it was more like a Zeiss Tessar.
More often than with the foldable Industar-10, the Fed 2s come with an Industar-26m or later the Industar-61. The Industar-26m 50 mm F/2.8 is a coated Tessar type lens. It was sold with the Fed 2 from 1957. As
is common in rangefinder cameras, the closest focusing distance is 1 meter.
Later, from 1964, the Fed 2 came with the Industar-61 50mm ƒ/2.8, a modified Industar-26m. It is a multicoated lens and has clicks between each F stop.
were manufactured in Kharkov in Ukraine.
The Fed 2 is a much improved version and can therefore no longer be called a copy of the Leica Barnack. The design of the FED 2 is quite different from that of its predecessor. Loading film was made a lot easier.
In stead of removing the bottom plate of the camera the entire back had to be removed. In this way it was easier to handle the film. A system that was used much earlier in the Contax and Kiev cameras. It makes loading film much easier and faster, although
sliding the back wall back can also be quite a hassle. An even more important improvement was that in the Fed 2 the rangefinder window was combined with the composition window (viewfinder). A system that Contax already used in its models before the war, but
which Leica only introduced in the M3. That also meant a huge improvement in ease of use. Another major improvement was an extension of the rangefinder base to 67mm. The longer the base of the rangefinder is, ie the distance between the two rangefinder windows
on the front of the camera, the more accurate the focus can be. In addition, the camera was equipped with an adjustable diopter and a self-timer.
Many Feds came with Industar lenses. On the folding Fed lens, the aperture is set in the front and is focused
with a lever near the body. The rangefinder is coupled to the lens. The field of view in the viewfinder is that of a 5 cm lens. Other focal lengths require a separate viewfinder on the accessory shoe.
According to repair experts, the Fed 2 was more reliable
and better made than the Fed 1. The molded Fed 2 camera body is much sturdier than its predecessor.
Often the Soviet cameras are considered just bad copies of the Leicas or Contaxes. But that seriously falls short of models like the Fed 2. The Fed 2 is
a well-made, good-quality camera. The copies that have survived the test of time often still work fine without having enjoyed a CLA major overhaul in all those years. Think about that in comparison with Leica's from the fifties.
The Fed 2 is one of the
nicer Soviet cameras. One of its most famous users was none other than Pablo Picasso.